Renal hypoplasia is a condition in which the kidneys do not fully develop when the baby is in the womb. The kidney is only a bit tiny or smaller than its usual size and may not work as they are required to because of its shrinkage.
Renal hypoplasia can only be diagnosed on or after the 20th week of the pregnancy during the antenatal ultrasound scan or after the baby is born. It can also be recognized in a baby who had some symptoms.
Renal hypoplasia is an uncommon condition that affects 1 in 100 babies, and they are born with a small kidney.
How does it occur?
It occurs when the kidneys do not grow properly in the womb as normally it does.
What are the types of renal hypoplasia?
There could be one or both the kidneys affected with renal hypoplasia, and depending upon this, the condition can be called as:
Unilateral renal hypoplasia: the children with one small kidney may not have difficulty as their life goes smooth without much of the complications. However, they may have high blood pressure or urinary tract infections in later life because of the apparent size of the one kidney than the other.
Bilateral renal hypoplasia: It is a severe condition in which both the kidneys have a smaller size since birth, and they need ayurvedic treatment for kidney problems later in their lives. Some babies are even kept at ventilation to help breathe. There is also a risk that he may develop kidney failure at their younger age, especially during puberty, when the body is growing.
The ayurvedic treatment should be started as soon as possible, or else the kidneys may stop working at all.
What are the causes of renal hypoplasia?
According to healthcare providers, there are many possible causes of renal hypoplasia, but it is not compulsory that you will be able to figure out the cause of the condition in the baby.
It is also important to understand that the condition has nothing to do with what a female does during her pregnancy until she consumes medicines that are not healthy for the baby.
The causes may include:
Some cases of renal hypoplasia have a genetic mutation and the alterations in the genes which are transmuted by the parents to the children. If the baby has renal hypoplasia because of the genetic mutations, the treatment should begin with genetic testing.
Genetic testing involves taking samples of blood or saliva or tissue for diagnosing by the doctors. At times, renal hypoplasia occurs as a result of other breakdowns of the digestive system, nervous system, heart muscles, and the muscles in the other parts of the urinary system.
Medicines and certain drugs
Too much reliance on drugs or medicines taken by pregnant women for seizures, blood pressure, may also cause damage to the baby growing in the womb. It may also be affected by the use of cocaine during pregnancy.
Are future pregnancies under the risk?
It is unlikely that your future pregnancies will increase the risk of renal hypoplasia or other kidney problem until the genetic mutation is involved in the previous pregnancy. It is unlikely that renal hypoplasia will occur in a future generation, but ask your doctor about the same.
Tests and diagnose
Antenatal ultrasound scan
This scan looks for the structure of the baby growing in the womb, and renal hypoplasia can be confirmed if the size of one or both of the kidneys is normal than usual, but the kidney function is otherwise normal. Even though the baby has a smaller kidney structure, the doctor cannot say anything in advance until birth. The baby will have fewer complications, if
- It is growing fine in the womb
- If the amniotic fluid is balanced overall
- No other complications have been noticed
Other ultrasound scans are done to confirm renal hypoplasia during pregnancy.
Tests at later stages
In a rare case, renal hypoplasia can only be diagnosed after the birth of the baby or when he or she gets older. The genetic mutation is not involved in such cases and there could be some other reasons, such as an accident.
The other conditions similar to renal hypoplasia
- Renal dysplasia: One or both the kidneys have a smaller size than normal, have cysts on them, but have grown well otherwise.
- Reflux nephropathy: It is the condition of the kidneys in which scar develops on the kidneys.
- Multicystic dysplastic kidneys: The kidneys have multiple cysts on them and the function of which gets impaired.
Tests after birth
After the baby is born, there are some imaging tests that are done using equipment to get a closer picture of the kidney’s structure.